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PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD v. AMERICAN AND CROATION SINGING SOCIETY (05/01/75)

decided: May 1, 1975.

PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT,
v.
AMERICAN AND CROATION SINGING SOCIETY, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. American and Croation Singing Society, No. 1927 December Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellant.

Eugene Edward J. Maier, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. Concurring Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 616]

On Saturday, January 15, 1971, two agents of appellant, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, entered the premises of appellee, American and Croation Singing Society, for the purpose of conducting an inspection and inventory of the club and an examination of club records. The agents entered the club at approximately 10:00 p.m. that evening and departed at approximately 12:30 a.m., on January 16, 1971. As a result of the investigation, which included the above mentioned inspection, on March 8, 1971, the Liquor Control Board issued Citation No. 301, 1971, charging appellee with six specific violations of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 1-101 et seq. After a hearing, the Board issued an adjudication on December 13, 1971, in which it found appellee to be in violation of four of the six specified charges. The Board's findings read as follows:

"1. The licensed organization, by its servants agents or employes interfered with authorized Board employes in the performance of their duties on January 15 and 16, 1971.

[ 18 Pa. Commw. Page 617]

"2. The licensed organization, by its servants, agents or employes refused authorized Board employes access to all records on January 15 and 16, 1971.

"3. The charter of the licensed organization was not in possession of the original incorporators or their direct or legitimate successors.

" 4. The licensed organization falsified its application for Club Liquor License for the license years [sic] which expired October 31, 1971."

Based on these findings, the Board revoked appellee's liquor license and further ordered that appellee's bond, in the amount of $2,000.00, be forfeited in accordance with Section 471 of the Liquor Code, 47 P.S. § 4-471.

Appellee then filed an appeal with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. By stipulation of the parties, the court considered the case based on the evidence taken before the Board's hearing examiner. The court made new findings of fact in which it modified Board finding No. 1 and essentially dismissed Board findings Nos. 2, 3, and 4. The findings of the lower court, which correspond numerically with the Board's findings, read as follows:

"1. Fact I as found by the Liquor Control Board is modified in that the employees did act disorderly and did attempt to interfere with Board Employees, however, the Board's Employees acted unreasonably and failed to allow Petitioner due process of law.

"2. Fact II is not established. John W. Hollawell, the President of the Club, did indicate that some of the records were missing and some were in the hands of attorneys. It can hardly be expected that certain records should be completely accessible at Midnight on a Saturday night. There was ...


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